Periplum and other poems brings together Peter Gizzi’s celebrated and influential first book, out of print for nearly a decade, with 60 pages of early and uncollected work, including the long poem “Music for Films.” This new edition functions as a collected poems of Gizzi’s work from 1987 to 1992. John Ashbery hailed Gizzi as “the most exciting poet to come along in quite a while.” The vibrancy and immediacy of Gizzi’s poems constitute 21st-century lyricism at its best, a richly complex music engaged with the crucial questions of and around contemporary culture. Michael Boughn wrote in the Poetry Project Newsletter that “Periplum reveals and shatters an unspeakably fragile world ... emerging with a new knowing, a knowing that matters, as in matters of life and death.” His poems achieve a delicate balance of emotional and intellectual richness and the sense of poetry itself as a primary ground of human experience.
‘Periplum reveals and shatters an unspeakably fragile world ... emerging with a new knowing, a knowing that matters, as in matters of life and death.’ —Michael Boughn
‘The reader must [...] be alert, but give this book a couple of hours – the amount of time you might give the kind of art cinema it recalls (the middle section is titled “Music for Films”) – and Periplum's odd angles take satisfying shape.’ —Jeremy Noel-todd
‘Peter Gizzi’s Periplum arises out of the same tradition as Frank O’Hara’s: suffused in irony, creating odd juxtapositions, alternatingly enigmatic and direct.’ —D. A. Powell
‘The beautiful fragile balance achieved here is simply amazing.’ —Chris Stroffolino
‘Never mind about the bewilderment. One should be more concerned with the acts of intelligence. Peter Gizzi’s poetry says this all the time. Not that one would (or could) paraphrase any of the poems as such, but that’s what the entire enterprise is based upon. That’s what one has to remember. We forget it, I think, at our peril.’ —Martin Stannard